Finding the Local
Communication
Formula

Would a global campaign slogan reach the Turkish audience?

Client: KFC

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A reoccurring problem amongst global brands is that they will use the same slogans and marketing strategies across all territories. While this may save on rebranding expenses, it means that every brand runs the risk of not connecting with the territory’s audience.
But, by modifying your marketing to account for culture and cultural concerns, you can strengthen your brand (and your sales).

Is it better to be traditional or inventive?
Professional or casual?
Direct or use a soft touch?

Because what works in one region may cause a failure in another.
International brand KFC was aware of this possibility, so when they prepared “Always Original” as their new campaign slogan for 2016, they wanted to make sure it would reach the Turkish audience.
The slogan refers to KFC’s ‘original recipe’ and how important it is to the individual to be original. But while young Turkish fast food customers enjoy the original recipe as much as anyone else in the world, does the slogan reach them? Is originality something to be chased among the Turkish youth?

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Original – Present or existing from the beginning. First or Earliest.

Finding the Local Communication Formula

KFC wanted to Ethnogram to find an answer to this question.
We built a research strategy tailored to finding specific answers from young fast-food consumers. What do they think about brands and their slogans? Do they care about ‘originality’? And if they do, what does original even mean to them?
For our research, we selected two cities. Istanbul because of its diverse community and reputation for multiculturalism, and Adana for the city’s traditional and conservative food culture.
In these cities, we conducted a series of “Eat Along” studies where we met participants at their favorite places (including KFC). Over their favorite meals, we discussed a variety of topics, such as life, current trends and pop culture, food, and so much more. Rather than interviewing and interrogating, we opted for a natural discussion to get their true thoughts on a variety of topics.
With our research in hand, we returned to KFC. The Turkish ‘formula’ for being original required a unique campaign, otherwise it would put off the target audience. If KFC’s brand focused too much on being original in the traditional sense, it may have backfired. But with a strategy built on research into the culture, their audience would love them.